Today I start a new project.
I don’t usually know exactly what Chapter one will look like till it is finished and it always surprises me. I had never used outlines, preferring instead, to allow the story to carry itself. It is similar in its execution to possession by a foreign spirit whispering in your ear. My first novel took wild turns and contradicted itself in so many places that I’m surprised the people who have read it understood my meaning. It was three months of just letting the story write itself.
I’ve honed the process a little since then, and my last project was smoother than the softest, fluffiest mashed potato meal you have ever had. I still use outlines handwritten in notebooks, with little diagrams of neighbourhoods and machinery or doodles or animals I’ve had to create. I’ve also started putting dates so I know when and where a particular project started.
So now it’s off to the races and hopefully everything is clear and concise and I’ve finally learned how to use my commas properly!